Professional administration

I was talking to a friend last night about the way the ministers of the Danish government are almost always picked from members of parliament. The result is that it’s completely random whether some particular individual ends up being responsible for taxes or health, treasury or foreign affairs, culture or science.

The ministers have no expertise in the area in wihch they’re governing, leaving things to be controlled by a combination of amateurs and bureaucrats.

Why not abandon the convention and bring instead bring in professional government. They’d obviously be hand-picked by the prime minister, and you’d expect that a number of the key figures would be very visible during the campaign (like Colin Powell was during Bush’ campaign). But they’d nevertheless be people who knew what they were talking about, and knew how to get things done, so we could avoid humiliating episodes like Per Stig Møller’s interview in Hard Talk.



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